Finkler calm as Victory stalls on new deal

Uncertain future ... Gui Finkler (Getty Images)

Gui Finkler has admitted he doesn't know where he will be playing next season but is 'calm' over his future as Melbourne Victory stalls on offering the Brazilian playmaker a new deal.

Influential off the bench this season - and now finally back in the starting line-up - the Brazilian has scored five times in 19 appearances and is fast regaining the touch and durability which captivated the A-League before he was felled by a serious knee injury 13 months ago.

Finkler's qualities were exemplified by the clever individual goal which earned a 1-1 draw against Perth Glory in Round 17, and Victory fans are waiting impatiently to discover if the cult figure is handed a carrot to stay on at a club which poses an attacking edge when he is at his creative best.

The 28-year-old, whose contract expires at the end of May, is not stressing over his ultimate fate as he prepares for the weekend off after being cut by coach Kevin Muscat from his squad for Saturday night's Asian Champions League qualifier against Thailand's Muangthong United at Geelong's Simonds Stadium.

"The club haven't spoken with me yet and there is no contract offer from them but, to be honest, I am just so happy to be back playing again after the injury and getting stronger with each week, so hopefully my performances will make a difference in the final nine rounds (of the season)," said Finkler.

"When you have that type of injury (a knee reconstruction) you relish every game you have back because I was out for so long.

"I am feeling calm and relaxed about the future because as a player I always back my ability and I have the belief in myself to keep doing well for my team.

"If I do that, the future will be there for me but at this stage I am not sure what that will hold because Victory have not made their intentions clear as yet.

"I have started the last two matches and I think that my game is improving all the time as I regain match conditioning - it's obviously different now than coming off the bench.

"But being on from the start is what every player wants.

"I have no fear of what lies ahead because I know I can offer certain qualities as a player which can help teams and I have a level of maturity now where I don't think too much out what is around the next corner - I am just concentrating on what happens on the pitch each week."

Finkler's ACL omission may be keenly felt by Victory against the Thai powerhouse after Muscat was compelled, under AFC competition rules, to submit the names of three foreigners only on his squad list.

Since Finkler had only recently returned from his long-term injury when Muscat crunched the numbers several weeks back, he was the one to miss out, while central defender Pablo Contreras, left-back Adama Traore and winger Kosta Barbarouses got the nod.

"I would love to be involved but that's the situation and I will just support the team and hope they do well," said Finkler, who cannot be recalled to the squad until the conclusion of the group stages, should Victory quality.

"I will just focus on the A-League and helping us finish as high as we can. I think Brisbane have the first place to themselves now but we are now going to be chasing second at least because that is definitely a possibility for us, so long as we can find some real consistency again."

Victory's next three league games are all in Melbourne - against Adelaide United, neighbour Heart and Central Coast Mariners.

"Those games are going to be the key for us," added Finkler. "If we do well on all three then we are going to be very well placed."

Victory currently lies fourth on 27 points - four adrift of second-placed Western Sydney Wanderers.

Source: SBS